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Sunday, December 08, 2002

Getting Rid of the Dixiepublicans-One of the problems that Republicans have is that they inherited the Wallace Democrats in the 1970s. The Republicans cooped the law-and-order motif of the redneck populist Democrats like George Wallace and brought quite a few people who were raised in an era where being bigoted was not only permissible but politically proper. We're starting to see the death and/or retirement of that breed of politician; such bigotry is no longer politically acceptable. Such people make people like myself uncomfortable with the title "conservative," for such bigotry isn't something I want to conserve. In the last thirty years, the fight has shifted from being between discrimination (anti-black conservatives) and a color-blind policy (liberals) to being between discrimination (pro-black liberals) and a color-blind policy (neoliberals and conservatives). The people who grew up with the civil rights pushes of the 60s and 70s are comfortable with blacks and women as equals; it's unlikely that a flat-out racist politics would get a majority hearing. I'd venture that the Republican party of 2002 is more progressive on racial issues than McGovern's Democratic Party of 1972. However, that progress isn't seen that well by the media; conservatives are still seen as a bunch of rednecks. How many of those media folks treated a elderly black gentleman to lunch the last three Sundays like I've wound up doing? I can't take the credit for that; people from our home group at church had befriended Frank while witnessing in the poorer section of Lake Wales and have kept that friendship going even when Frank got Alzheimer’s and he would up in a Winter Haven nursing home. They make sure he gets to church and we usually treat him to lunch afterwards; Fred and I take turns paying for the gang ($1.19 All-American meals at McDonalds and a 2/$1 apple pies aren't budget busters) and I've wound up doing so the previous two weeks as well as today's birthday party for Fred at Fazolli's. That's not the GOP that we hear about in the news; Fred, that guy who has that senile black guy in tow, has a "I don't beleive the liberal media" on the back of his pick-up. The modern GOP isn't the bunch of rednecks that we're implied to be. That's why such open-mouth-insert-foot episodes like Lott's need to be squashed quickly.

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